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Collectors from Across the World Gather in Des Moines for Gas Swap Meet

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Iowa Gas Swap MeetDES MOINES, Iowa – A window into the past is open for your viewing this week in Des Moines.

The 29th Annual Iowa Gas Swap Meet’s Collectors Convention began Wednesday and runs through Friday at the Holiday Inn Airport and Conference Center, located at 6111 Fleur Drive. The nation’s oldest and largest gas, oil and auto-related advertising show and sale features gas pumps and globes, tin and porcelain signs, neons, cans, bottles, maps and other gas, oil and auto-related advertising items.

“It’s called a ‘gas swap’ because back in the day, you’d have a car, I’d have a car, we’d meet in a backyard, and we’d swap parts,” Bill Collins, a vendor from Texas, said. “Of course nowadays, you sell your items, but that’s the origin of the term ‘swap.'”

Over 200 vendors are displaying collectibles in the hotel parking lot, exhibition hall, ballroom, courtyard and hotel guest rooms. An auction conducted by Rich Penn Auctions will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday.

“I buy and sell a lot of the old advertising in gas and petroliana stuff, just because it’s cool to hang on the wall and give a nice pop of color into a room,” said Zane Hehnke of Winterset. “And it just brings back memories of what a simpler time was, as some of these older guys would say.”

The gas swap meet is free and open to the public.